Drammen Art Association's exhibition 2023


Tom Gundersen and Ingvar Gundersen

It is becoming increasingly common to think that the human impact on nature is of such a fundamental nature that it can be described as a separate geological epoch: the Anthropocene. One of the most important questions of our time is how we should understand our relationship with nature and how it affects the way we treat it. This realization forms the backdrop for this collaborative project.

Tom Gundersen shows a larger graphic series he calls BIOPHILIA. This is a term that was launched by the well-known biologist Edward O. Wilson in the book Biophilia from 1984. He uses the term about our bond with all other life, and this is also the inspiration behind the graphic series by Tom Gundersen. The series should remind us that we are primarily part of a large web of life forms, a species among other species. Species that we are now displacing due to our reckless way of life. In the prints, the human face is intertwined with organic forms: cells, sensory receptors, embryological forms and brain structures. The inspiration for the great richness of form in the prints does not come from art history, but from another area of culture, namely plates and illustrations in an extensive biological literature. In particular, drawings made with the help of a microscope show a fantastic world of form, which gives the opportunity for further processing in graphic prints. Over the past few years, Tom Gundersen has compiled a large archive of printing plates with biological forms, and from these he prints layer upon layer. The result is unique prints, which do not work individually, but form part of thematically defined wholes.

Ingvar Gundersen's work revolves around the relationship between culture and nature, where human culture in the form of exploitation of natural resources has reached a point where nature's ecosystems are threatened. This project is about the uncontrollable in nature, the nature that has its own laws, its own unfathomable mystery and its own value regardless of the utility value for us humans, at the same time that our view of nature is always colored by language, culture and history. Human reason and rationality, understood as geometry, patterns, order and system, are set against the "free" and sprawling forms of nature, represented by forests, thickets and wild ice. The works are in dialogue with forms from art history, folk art and religious art. The physical world of "things" is mixed with the "illusions" of painting, where concrete, physical reliefs are connected to pictorial representations of nature. The various elements are often combined into series, diptychs and triptychs. Certain works extend into space as sculpture, object and installation.

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Monday to Sunday at 11.00 - 15.00